What I love about this time of year is the anticipation of seeing all the glorious summer perennial plants affording us sumptuous garden displays.
Winter seems such a long time ago and the lovely summer months are ahead of us.
Most of the spring flowers have gone over. Spring bulbs are spent and taking a well-earned rest.
It is now the turn of the full sun perennials that bloom all summer.
And what a show they put on for us.
Full Sun Perennials that Bloom all Summer
From tall spires of Delphiniums in all shades of blue to clumps of strap like leaves of bearded Iris and their gorgeous blousy flowers in all colours of the spectrum.
Majestic Acanthus and bright red-hot pokers to the smaller rockery plants such as the low shrub like, evergreen helianthimums, Old-fashioned pinks and Erigeron, and everything in between there is something here for every kind of summer garden.
Something to suit all tastes, many of the plants I write about in this article are easy to grow and maintain. They compliment any type of garden design from a cottage garden style to more contemporary themes. These summer flowering perennials will also look perfectly at home with a selection of summer flowering bulbs.
Summer Flowering Bulbs A colourful addition to summer gardens.
There are many varieties of perennials that bloom all summer for you to choose from, with new ones coming onto the market all the time.
For myself I prefer the older, simpler varieties of most flowering plants, as I think they are some of the most disease resistant.
The more elaborate the variety, the further away from the originals of the species they become. They tend to be more high maintenance.
Whilst not all the perennial plants I mention here will necessarily flower all summer long, they certainly do add to the interest of our summer borders and will seamlessly blend in together as each one comes into full flower.
If you choose a good variety of plants that compliment each other in terms of foliage shape and colour, height and texture with flowering times that follow one after the other then you are going to achieve a garden full of flowers not only in the summer but all year round.
All the ones I mention here do well in full sun or in part sun/part shade.
I am often asked which is my favourite season… my answer is always the season that we are currently in, simply because each season has its own merits and beauty. Every season as its own attractions and I love them all.
The same goes for plants, whichever is flowering at the time is my favourite until it finishes, and I have the next ones to admire.
Tall Perennial Plants
I love this one best of all the Montbretia. The deep emerald green strap leaves add shape and structure to the borders. The sprays of bright red, long-lasting flowers are a bold contrast to the green. Flowers all summer.
Kniphofia (red-hot poker)
More well-known and recognised than the Percy’s Pride.
Upright perennial with tall, large spikes of bright red and yellow flowers.
Woodpeckers in my area love the seeds from these, I often see them early mornings.
This stately plant can grow to about 6 feet at least. Both the foliage and flowers are quite spiny. Dark green leaves and mauve and white funnel shaped flowers.
Perennial with large, dense umbels of flowers in different shades of blue, white and an almost black variety. They are drought resistant once established, and will do very well in pots.
Named after the Greek goddess of the rainbow… Iris, they certainly live up to that name.
The genus is classified into many divisions, the bearded Iris being the easiest of them to grow. Their rhizomes need to be planted near to the surface of well-drained soil in order to get the full benefit of the sun. This ‘baking’ is what makes them flower well.
The tall stems carry a number of flowers, so they do last well into the summer.
There is a huge variety of colour combinations to choose, therefore making it very easy to find several to incorporate into any colour scheme.
One of the most attractive perennial plants, Delphiniums have tall, showy spires that make a spectacular summer display. Classic varieties are bright, sky-blue. New hybrids are available in white, pastel shades of pinks, mauve, lemon through to deeper shades of blue and purple.
They need strong supports and protection from slugs and snails.
Tall dark green stems and foliage with spikes of gold, yellow flowers.
Semi-evergreen clump forming plant bearing narrow spikes of purple centered, yellow flowers. Flowering throughout summer and into autumn.
Mid Height Perennial Plants
Hairy leafed perennial with very fleshy roots.
Large, papery flowers in reds, pinks, mauve, purple colours.
The seed heads are also attractive and a source of food for birds and other wildlife.
Kniphofia Percy’s Pride
Upright perennial with large spikes of lime green/yellow flowers.
Protect the crowns in winter with mulch.
Alstroemeria Indian Summer
I love any Alstroemeria but Indian Summer is my favourite.
They live up to their name, not only in terms of colour but also in that they flower on and on and on. From early summer right through to the first heavy frost.
As their blooms are long-lasting they make great cut flowers.
This superb, elegant perennial plant will bloom all summer.
Pure white flowers with broad deep green leaves.
Happy in full sun or part shade. They do also like their roots to be in damp conditions.
Perfectly happy by a pond.
Gorgeous leafy plant with feathery plumes of flowers in pinks, reds or white.
Flowers all summer. The dried flowers still look good in autumn and through winter.
Prefers humus rich soil.
Hemerocallis (Day Lily)
These range in size from compact plants that grow to just fifteen inches to large plants that reach five feet.
There are many lovely varieties in colours from yellows, creams, oranges, reds, purples and pinks. They thrive in any soil except clay and prefer full sun.
Echinops Veitch’s Blue
Upright, spiky plant with large blue thistle type, globe flowers.
Bees absolutely love these.
Smaller Perennial Plants
Flowers early summer and then it will benefit from being cutting back, often flowering again towards late summer.
Evergreen foliage plants that look lovely all year, feathery sprays of flowers appear from mid-May onwards. The foliage keeps its gorgeous, bronze, purple, copper colours best in full sun.
Masses of pink daisy-type flowers that keeps on flowering all summer long.
Some of these are low growing, ground cover varieties. There are also taller hybrids with blue or white bell shaped flowers. They grow pretty much anywhere, rockeries, walls, paths and beds and borders. Masses of bright blue flowers that the bees and other pollinators love.
Ideal for the front of beds and borders or in rockeries. These have a low, spreading habit of neat cushions of foliage. They flower mid-summer and are very fragrant.
A low growing, evergreen shrub like perennial. These have an abundance of flowers from early summer onwards in yellows, pinks, oranges, reds or white.
Trim back after first flowering to encourage further blooms.
Easy to Grow
All these summer perennial plants are easy to grow and need very little care.Easy Low Maintenance Garden Ideas
Plenty of good quality, nutritious soil, sunshine and some watering when required is about all they ask for.
They don’t need much attention at all.
Once you have these, they will continue to flourish every summer. They are all easy to propagate too. Most of them can be split at the crowns after flowering and the smaller pieces planted out or given to friends and family.
So I do hope that you include some of them in your borders this summer. They will give you pleasure for many years to come by filling your borders with colour, texture and perfume.
For a range of summer plants, shop here.
All the plant companies that advertise on my website have a superb selection of summer plants.
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